pruning

  1. Pruning 101 from the Nature Hills Horticultural Team

    The goal of pruning is to improve the overall health and usefulness of a plant:

    • Prune to correct broken or damaged branches.
    • Prune to remove diseased portions of a plant.
    • Prune to control the size and shape of a plant.
    • Prune fruit trees to keep it easier to harvest the delicious fruit.

    Pruning by the Pros

    Plant materials grown by a quality grower will have been pruned correctly from the start, so you shouldn’t need to worry about corrective pruning for a while. A good example is shrubs. Plant nursery staff work to encourage branching lower to the ground, so the plants don’t have voids and aren’t "leggy". For trees, the nurseries prune for nice straight single leaders and uniform, open branching.

    Tree Pruning Tips

    After you plant your trees, you should pay attention to your plants as they

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  2. Fall Cleanup to Prepare for Winter Garden Interest

    Before your fire up your weed eaters and trimmers and rampage through your yard cutting down and removing everything in sight this fall, stop! Take a step back. It’s time to reconsider your winter clean up protocol. 

    Let’s take a look and change your perspective to see your winter landscape in a new way. You don’t need to cut everything down. Do you have any perennials or other plants that may offer winter interest if you left them untrimmed until after winter?

    What Does Your Landscape Look Like in Winter?

    Evergreens, ornamental grasses and hydrangeas definitely offer winter interest. Perennials can also add interest to the winter landscape, so don’t be too quick to cut them down. Study shapes, colors and form.

    Not all dormant regions get dumped with snow. Some regions have lighter snowfalls that can highlight and sculpt the snow, cr

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  3. Bringing Citrus Trees Indoors

    Watch our "Fruit Whisperer", as Ed Laivo, one of America's top fruit tree experts, answers Jill Winger's question on how to best care for her new Dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree during the winter.

    Planting, Managing Pests, Making the Move, Fertilizing & Watering

    Ed has some really helpful hints for the home gardener in cold climates, like Wyoming (and let's not forget all the other hardy souls living in places like New York, Colorado, Minnesota, and our friends in Illinois!). If you want to grow Citrus Trees, but must bring them inside for the long winter - here's a video overview of what you need to know.

    Dwarf Meyer Lemons are so much fun to grow, and they'll do well for you inside. Just follow along with Ed for the best practices.

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  4. Boxwood Tips & Tricks for a Beloved Classic!

    We would be remiss if we did not mention that Boxwood have been used as trimmed hedges as far back as 4,000 BC, in the gardens of Roman villas.  Boxwood have been used in Italy, France, Germany and England - all throughout Europe because it makes incredible clipped hedges. 

    Boxwood remain wildly popular today. 

    Their popularity comes from the innate ability to train this plant into many different forms.  They were used to create English knot gardens, topiaries, creating pieces of sculpture in the landscape.  Boxwood can be easily sheared in to tight forms.  The small, rounded leaves are evergreen and remain on the plant year round. 

    How to Use Boxwood in the Landscape

    Not only do Boxwood make classic low hedges-- governing direction and movement through the landscape with the structure they bring – they do so year round because they

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  5. Summer Pruning Tips for 3 Fruit Trees Planted in 1 Hole, or High Density Planting

    Watch as Ed Laivo, one of America's top fruit tree experts, checks the growth on his latest high density planting of Burgundy Plum, Santa Rosa Plum and Emerald Butte Plum. During this video, you'll learn how how he makes summer pruning decisions to keep his fruit trees around 6 feet tall.

    Growing 3 Trees in 1 Hole Delivers Great Fruit Set in a Small Space

    Successfully planting 3 partner fruit trees together in 1 hole has a lot of benefits for your backyard orchard, including cross-pollination and enjoying an extended season of fruit. Keeping your high density plantings at a small size makes for easy homegrown fruit picking.

    Summer is the best time to prune your high density planting. Ed says "The goal is to get good sunlight in the center of the three tree canopy. Pruning the aggressive spring flush of growth keeps your fruit trees to a manageable size."

    Call us to talk about which partner fruit trees are right for your garden: 888-864-7663

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  6. Boxwood Offer Beauty, Versatility in Any Landscape

     

    Boxwood - sometimes known as Box - has been around for a long time. They were introduced to North America from Europe in the 1600s. There are almost 100 different species and almost 400 different selections that have been made over the years, and the popularity of Boxwood continues today.

    Boxwood (Buxus) is a broadleaved evergreen. The small, round green leaves remain on the plant year round.  Different Boxwood species can be grown from zones 4 to 9, so when selecting Boxwood for your home, be sure to select the type that will grow where you live.

    This fine textured, green-leaved plant is equally attractive year round as it really does not change throughout the seasons.  For that reason, they have remained extremely popular in the landscape.  They are easy to maintain and can be ma

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  7. How to Thin Fruit - Video Tutorial

    Watch the video below to learn the art of fruit thinning by one of America's premier fruit experts, Ed Laivo.

    Benefits of Thinning Fruit

    • Avoid diseases by thinning
    • Increase fruit size
    • Improve color in your fruit
    • Increase sugar content in your fruit

    Here's what you'll learn:

    1. How to space the fruit on the limb
    2. How to properly pull immature fruit during thinning

    Thinning is an art form that helps your apple, peaches and nectarine crops. Homesteaders, urban agriculturalists, and homeowners - enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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  8. When to Prune Flowering Shrubs

    It is important to know when to prune your flowering shrubs, so you get the most flowers.   Timing your pruning is the key to success. 

    Many early spring flowering plants already made their flowers all hidden and tucked away in the growth from last year.  Pruning at the wrong time will eliminate those flowers.  Here are some tips to keep you in the know.

    Let’s take a Lilacs for example…

    If you are out in the yard and your Lilac looks large and you have a pruner in your hand, it is late summer - and you just cut off the tips of the branches – your lilac will not bloom in the spring.  Let’s say you pruned them in fall, the same thing would happen in spring – no flowers.  Let’s say you prune your Lilacs in early spring before they leaf out - same scenario because you are removing the flowers that formed in the growth that developed last year. 

    Ther

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  9. How to Prune Hydrangeas

    It is important to know what kind of Hydrangea you have before you do any pruning. The reason it is important to know so that you are not cutting off any flower buds, really the reason for growing Hydrangeas!

    It is probably easiest to break down the types of Hydrangeas and suggest pruning for each of the different types. Each group of Hydrangea includes some of the selections available from Nature Hills. 

    Hardy, Panicle type Hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata selections)

    These are woody type, hardy Hydrangeas that love the sun and are very forgiving needing little care.  You can’t change the color of this group to blue, but they offer quite the show opening white, and age to pink or red before turning brown in fall and winter.

    Pruning for Hydrangea paniculata shrub form and tree form should be done in early spring b

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  10. Pruning Woody Hydrangea Paniculata Type Shrubs

    Now is the time to prune your woody, sun-loving panicle type Hydrangeas (like Limelight, Quickfire, Diamond Rouge Little Lamb, Pinky Winky, Fire Light, Little Lime, Strawberry Sundae, Vanilla Strawberry and any other species in this group).

    The best rule of thumb is to cut back these woody plants by reducing about 1/3 of the length of last year’s growth, removing the brown flower heads that remain on the plant. 

    Leave the overall shape som

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